Vital Signs report focuses on facets of region’s health, business, education

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce presented the latest version of its Vital Signs report to the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Dec. 12.

Michelle Gaskin Brown, vice president of policy with the Nashville Chamber, presented the report along with Franklin resident Mark Hamilton.

The report is compiled in conjunction with Nashville Metropolitan Planning Organization and is in its fifth year, according to Brown.

“Vital Signs is a thumbprint of where the Nashville region is with the 10 counties in terms of moving forward,” Brown said. “It is a quick examination of education, population, affordability, health, just anything going on that will help us move forward.”

Included in the report were the facts:

  • One of eight residents is 65 years or older
  • Represents a $135 billion economy in the 17 counties represented
  • Income up 11.5% over the last five years, although disparity in that African Americans have seen income growth at half that rate
  • Median home sale price is $285,000 when considering all 17 counties
  • In last five years, there have been more than 100,000 new commuters on the road
  • Mean travel time for Williamson County residents to work is 28 minutes

“Nearly 81,000 workers commute into Williamson County each day from outside the county and then 55,000 Williamson County residents travel outside the county for work each day,” Hamilton said. “So you have more people coming into the county than you have leaving the county.”

As it relates to the health of the region, obesity-related illnesses cost businesses in the region nearly a quarter of a billion dollars last year, while over $500 million was lost in productivity to the region due to absenteeism and a new term, “presenteeism,” which reflects those who come to work with illnesses related to diabetes, obesity and hypertension, which impacts their effectiveness.

“Presenteeism is when you show up for work, but you are really not present, you have other things affecting you and you are just not effective when you are there,” Hamilton said, adding a full 50% of that is related to obesity.

“The health of our region’s residents is very key,” Hamilton said. “The nation’s opioid epidemic is certainly being felt here.” Hamilton then cited a statement by former Sen. Dr. Bill Frist who he quoted as saying, “Last year, there were more deaths, in one year, related to opioid overdose than there were in the entire Vietnam conflict.”

From the report:

  • 55% of respondents were concerned about someone who is dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction
  • 42% know someone who is addicted to prescription painkillers

You can watch the report by following this link.

This link will take you to the full Vital Signs report.

Franklin Tomorrow and the City of Franklin have partnered to create Get Fit Franklin, an initiative to get people to step out their front door and go for a walk as the first step to fitness. Mayor Ken Moore leads a quarterly “Walk MOORE With the Mayor” at locations across the city. Learn more about Get Fit Franklin by following this link.

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